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Policy and Advocacy

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UNMAS identifies emerging trends in the field and develops policies to enhance sector-wide operational effectiveness and accountability. This is one of UNMAS key responsibilities as the chair of the United Nations Inter-Agency Coordination Group for Mine Action.

The vision of the United Nations is a world free from the threat of landmines and other explosive hazards. UNMAS leads the UN advocacy in support of the international legal instruments related to landmines and explosive remnants of war, and the rights of people affected by them. The organization also undertakes public information on the problems of landmines and explosive remnants of war and the global response to it.

Several international agreements regulate or ban the use of landmines, cluster munitions, explosive remnants of war (ERW) and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), in particular, the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC), the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), and the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). These instruments are part of International Humanitarian Law. In addition, International Human Rights law protects the rights of persons affected by these weapons such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

UNMAS work is guided by these international legal norms, and actively promotes universalization, full adherence to and compliance by States. UNMAS leads efforts to support and assist States for effective implementation by providing policy, technical and operation assistance to States in areas of national plans and legislation, clearance, risk education and assistance to survivors. 

In 2015, as a result of the increasing numbers of civilians being killed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), UNMAS dedicated resources to an IED threat mitigation team that works on operational guidance, policy development and research, specifically related to IEDs. Find out more about IED threat mitigation here.

UNMAS also engages in the humanitarian, human rights, and refugee forums to address the broader humanitarian community and to promote the criticality of compliance with relevant international law, the need for mine action in the context of humanitarian response, and the contribution of mine action to development and sustaining peace.